‘Tis the Season:  Holiday Season Job Search Tips
By #1 Best-Selling Author and Recruiter Scott Vedder

Most people spend December hunting for gifts instead of hunting for jobs.  However, December is a great time to jump-start your job search.  In my best-selling book, Signs of a Great Résumé, I explain how to write a résumé that speaks for itself.  By including specific examples of your achievements, it’s easier to stand out from the competition.  The best news this time of year is that most people take a holiday from their job search in December so there is even less competition in the marketplace.  Now is the time to give yourself the gift of a competitive advantage in the job marketplace.  Whether you’re currently employed or on the hunt for an opportunity, take some time this holiday season to unwrap your potential and write a résumé that speaks for itself.  Before you’ve decked the halls and had your share of eggnog, invest in your job search and put the Signs of a Great Résumé to work for you.

Get a head start by searching for jobs in December.  A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions to get a new job.  That means job search traffic is very high in January.  Sure, many recruiters and hiring managers take time off over the holidays.  But online job postings can be automated so you’ll still find great opportunities for which to apply.  You can also use this time to set up “search agents” on popular job posting web sites and on many companies’ career pages.  When you create a search agent, or set up email notifications, the web site automatically looks for opportunities matching the terms you enter.  You’ll receive an email when a job opening is posted matching those terms and you’ll be ahead of the competition when the new year begins.

December is also a great time to build your online network.  A 2013 study revealed that 96% of recruiters use LinkedIn.  Recruiters like me participate in industry-specific conversations on LinkedIn and are looking for talent in forums and group posts.  If you’re not on LinkedIn, your competition probably is – but they’re probably not logged in during December when traffic on LinkedIn is at its lowest.  If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, use the Signs of a Great Résumé to build one now and include details about your skills and accomplishments.  I’ll even volunteer to be your first connection to get your network started – just search for me by name.

Even if you already have a job, December is a great time to refresh and update your résumé.  CareerBuilder indicates that January is the top month for promotions.  If you’re applying for a promotion in January, you’d better get your résumé ready in December.  Your résumé should include details about your achievements over the last year while they’re still fresh in your mind.

During the holidays and any time of year, be sure you use specific examples to quantify what makes you a great candidate in your field.  Your résumé should always be full of !@#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé 

! - Any part of your experience that was "amazing!"

@ - Defining points, places, dates and things in your experience

# - Numbers that quantify and prove your past successes

$ - The dollar value of your contributions

% - Figures that easily show growth and results

When you write a résumé that’s full of !@#$%, your résumé will speak for itself and you’ll be on your way to a successful job hunt now and in the year ahead.  Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a joyful job hunt!

Scott Vedder is a Fortune 100 recruiter and the author of the #1 best-selling résumé book, Signs of a Great Résumé.  Scott has taught thousands of students and job seekers in résumé workshops at high schools, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations across the country.  Scott was personally invited to the White House for a meeting in the Office of the First Lady to discuss how veterans can write a résumé that speaks for itself.  Scott’s book has been endorsed as “Recommended Reading” by groups including the Central Florida Employment Council and the Central Florida Jobs Initiative.  Scott has been recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management and has been featured as a career expert in nationally-syndicated newspaper columns, on international blogs and in dozens of live interviews on radio programs and television news.  For free résumé and interview tips, visit http://scottvedder.com/freestuff.html